a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

POP: restore and magnify

Let us pray to the Lord our God saying:
“Restore us, O God, and make your face to shine upon us that we might be saved.”:

Our souls magnify you, O Lord, and our Spirits rejoice in you, our Savior!
For you have looked upon the lowliness of your servants,
you have heard our cry and saved your people.
We shall be called blessed because we are called by you to be a blessing to others.
Your mercy is from generation to generation.
Your mercy called Adam and Eve into being.
Your mercy kept vengeance from taking Cain’s life.
Your mercy saved Noah and his family from the flood.
Your mercy caused Sarah’s womb to be fruitful.
Your mercy gave Joseph’s dreams the power to save a nation.
Your mercy heard the Israelites’ cry and called Moses to action.
Your mercy charged Mary with the most special of tasks.
Your mercy strengthened Joseph to care for her.
Your mercy creates Jesus, who has come to save us.
We give you thanks for your mercy; may it continue to shine upon us!

Restore us, O God, and make your face to shine upon us that we might be saved.

We remember this day those upon our hearts that crave your shining face,
who long for the light, who need your power to drive out the darkness:
for those who suffer from depression and other mental illnesses,
for those who cannot bring themselves to forgive others,
for those who cannot forgive themselves,
for those who seek refuge, but have been denied shelter,
for those who seek shelter, but have been denied a home,
for those who have lost loved ones in the past year,
for those who have lost physical and mental abilities,
for those who care for aging spouses and loved ones,
for those who have been living with cancer and other debilitating illnesses.

Restore us, O God, and make your face to shine upon us that we might be saved.

We ask that you would strengthen us as a congregation:
as we seek to be the best stewards of the money with which we’ve been blessed,
as we struggle with the financial burden of an aging building,
as we search for the truth of your word and do our best to live it out in our lives,
as we hold in tension that which we have been with that which you call us to be,
as we serve one another and those with whom you called us into fellowship,
as we continue to grow together as a congregation in a period of transition,
as we wait, watch, and wonder in preparation of the coming of your Son.

Restore us, O God, and make your face to shine upon us that we might be saved.

Gracious God,
as we finish this advent journey,
may we wait with Mary’s joyful anticipation
as we prepare to welcome your Son, our Savior,
into this broken world in need of his redeeming.
Gather us, guide us, and keep us as your people.
Send us into the world that Christ’s hands might be our own,
and his mind one with ours in all that you would have us do.

Restore us, O God, and make your face to shine upon us that we might be saved.  Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Stephen M. Fearing, Shelter Island Presbyterian Church, NY

POP: highest joy

God of our Highest Joy,
we come to you this day as your servants,
gathered to worship you and you alone.
As we continue this Advent journey,
help us to focus on you and the coming of your son, Jesus.
Amidst the commercials, the cooking, and the company,
help us to remember the true meaning of this season:
that you would come to us in the flesh and forever live among us.

Even as we share the joy we find in you with one another,
we are mindful of those for whom joy is hard to find,
for those who don’t have enough clothes,
for those who don’t have enough food,
for those who don’t have enough (or any) shelter,
for those who don’t have enough protection and justice.
We confess that there really is “enough” for everyone,
but it is our fault that the “enough” is hoarded by few at the expense of many.
Help us to bear the good fruit that the Baptist called us to bear,
being mindful of those around us without during this season of giving.

We pray this day for those longing for spiritual renewal.
We would ask that your Holy Spirit invigorate us
that we may provide for others first
before expecting them to provide for us.
Come to this place and encourage us to do the work
to which we were baptized.
Help us to proclaim the Good News in word and in deed.

We pray this day for the hope we have found,
the peace we seek,
and the joy we will receive in your Holy name.
May we bring hope to the hopeless,
peace to the restless,
and joy to those who crave it.
We pray this day, either out loud or in our hearts, for those dear to us…

Gracious God, may the joy we find not be a commodity to be hoarded
but a gift to be shared with one another.
We thank you for your presence among us,
your creation around us,
and your providence within us,
as we continue this blessed journey.  Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Stephen M. Fearing, Shelter Island Presbyterian Church, NY

POP–Advent 2

God of all Grace and Peace,
as we continue this advent journey,
we come to you in all honesty and courage
to lift up to you our souls that we might be heard
and your good works proclaimed.

We pray to you especially this day for those who find this season difficult,
for those for whom “’tis the season” rings empty in broken hearts,
for those who have lost loved ones and for those whose loved ones suffer.

We pray to you for those, like Joseph and Mary, who are social outcasts.
We acknowledge that we often do not recognize many in this world
because they don’t look like us,
because they don’t have money like us,
because they don’t act like us,
because they don’t believe like us.
We ask your help to acknowledge the humanity in all persons
so that, unlike Joseph and Mary, they might have a place to stay,
a place to call home, a place to spend the night.

We pray for pastors, choir directors, church workers,
and all others for whom this is not always a season of sabbath,
but a season of increased work.
May the work they do be blessed and be given as an offering to your holy name.

We pray for those who suffer from physical and mental illnesses,
for those who suffer from depression, PTSD, schizophrenia, and bi-polar disorder,
for those who have been diagnosed with cancer and other ailments,
for those whose physical disabilities keep them isolated from others.

We pray for those who need your light the most.
We pray especially for those in our hearts,
which we name before you in silence or out loud…

In all goodness and mercy,
hear our prayers this day, O Lord,
and remember your promise to keep us and to save us.

Through the reign of your Son, and the power of your Holy Spirit,
lead us with joy, in the light of your glory,
with the mercy and righteousness that comes only from you. Amen.

Submitted by Rev. Stephen M. Fearing, Shelter Island Presbyterian Church, NY